Keynote Sessions

Thursday Afternoon: The National Nonprofit Landscape

Dan Cardinali, President and C.E.O., Independent Sector; Kenza Hadj-Moussa, Communications Director, TakeAction Minnesota; and Jon Pratt, Executive Director, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits

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Join this session as Dan Cardinali and Jon Pratt offer a national perspective on the current trends, challenges and opportunities for the nonprofit sector. They will share insights how leaders should be preparing for the future of the sector, including what possible public policy battles lay ahead. Join them in discussing the role of nonprofits in American life and how we can work to strengthen the sector by moving forward together.

Moderated by Kenza Hadj-Moussa, this morning coffee conversation will provide ample opportunities for you to ask your questions about the current state of affairs in America's nonprofit landscape. Let's dig in to understand Minnesota's role in leading the sector, learning from others, and tackling our own challenges. Together, we can help the nonprofit sector to evolve in new ways.

Dan Cardinali is president and C.E.O. of Independent Sector (IS), a national membership organization that brings together a diverse set of nonprofits, foundations and corporations to advance the common good. Before joining IS in 2016, Dan served on the IS board of directors and several IS member committees. He also led Communities In Schools, the nation’s largest dropout prevention organization, for 12 years after working in other positions at the organization. Dan is a 2007 Annie E. Casey Children and Families Fellow and leads the K-12 subcommittee of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Education Excellence for Hispanics. He also serves on the board of Child Trends, as an advisory board member of Big Bets, an initiative of The Bridgespan Group and Forbes, and on the Harvard Business School’s Social Enterprise Advisory Board. He holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and a master’s degree in philosophy from Fordham University.

Kenza Hadj-Moussa, communications director, joined TakeAction Minnesota in 2017. Kenza leads TakeAction's media work and communications strategy to promote structural change across the state. She previously worked in communications with Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless and St. Stephen’s Human Services. Kenza is chair of the board for Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and serves on the board of directors of Our Saviour’s Community Services. She has a Masters in Advocacy and Political Leadership from UMD and is a graduate of Guilford College. She’s also a certified administrator of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator.

Jon Pratt is the executive director of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits. Since 1987, Jon has led MCN, an association of 2,100 organizations that sponsors research, training, lobbying and negotiated discounts to strengthen Minnesota's nonprofit sector. Jon has worked at Minnesota Public Interest Research Group as an attorney and lobbyist, as regional director at the Youth Project, and as director for the Philanthropy Project. In 1982 he was campaign manager for Paul Wellstone candidacy for Minnesota State Auditor. Jon has consulted with nongovernmental organizations on the development of NGO associations and services in Canada, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Serbia and Turkey. Jon has a law degree from Antioch School of Law, and a M.P.A. from Harvard University.

An optional lunch will take place in the ballroom immediately preceding Dan's keynote. If you'd like to join us for networking and a box lunch, be sure to add on the meal when you register for the conference. Thursday lunch is not included in the overall conference registration fee.



Friday Morning: Evolution of Leadership: Stories of Joy, Optimism and Hope

Armando Camacho, C.E.O., Opportunity Partners; PH Copeland, equity organizer, American Heart Association; Tracy Fischman, Executive Director, Prepare + Prosper; and Don Ness, Executive Director, Ordean Foundation

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Throughout our lives, our leadership opportunities ebb and flow. Whether through positional authority, social connectedness or moral grounding, each of us has opportunities to lead in our own ways. During our Friday morning keynote, we've invited three nonprofit leaders to talk about their own leadership experiences. We've asked them to present a TED-style talk about how their leadership has evolved over time and how their thinking has changed. Each speaker will highlight an emotion or attitude that has buoyed or challenged their leadership over time. Join us to reflect on their learnings, to consider your own experience, and to share ideas about the evolution of leadership.

Armando Camacho, president and C.E.O. of Opportunity Partners, is a nationally recognized, collaborative, mission-focused leader with extensive nonprofit and education experience. Prior to joining Opportunity Partners, Armando served as president of Neighborhood House, worked as a district administrator for the St. Paul Public School District and as a principal for the Minneapolis Public School District. Armando’s nonprofit board service has included Greater Twin Cities United Way, MAP for Nonprofits, Mardag Foundation, Charities Review Council and Friends of the St. Paul Public Libraries, among others.

PH Copeland was born and raised in her beloved community of North Minneapolis. Her professional background involves youth and community organizing surrounding racial equity and other social justice issues. PH is the equity organizer for the Good Food Access Campaign at the American Heart Association. She believes organizing, advocacy and storytelling are tools for developing a sustainable life, ending cycles of poverty and forms of oppression, and creating healing spaces for growth. In her spare time, PH is a contract employee with Minnesota Civic Youth as the Youth on Boards program director. She is also co-facilitator of Hope Community’s Sustainable Progress through Engaging Active Citizens program. PH holds a bachelor of arts in public affairs from Wells College. 

Tracy Fischman joined Prepare + Prosper (formerly AccountAbility Minnesota) as executive director in July 2009. Prepare + Prosper facilitates poverty alleviation and financial capability through the provision of free tax assistance, financial services, training and advocacy. Previously, Tracy served as a consultant providing strategic campaign, project management and organizational development services. Tracy has worked for organizations such as Planned Parenthood of Illinois and the Chicago Department of Public Health’s STD/HIV/AIDS Division. Tracy serves on Women Winning’s board of directors and has served on the boards for Girl’s Best Friend Foundation, Citizen Action of Illinois and Communities Advocating Emergency AIDS Relief. Tracy holds a bachelor’s degree from Macalester College and a master’s degree in public policy from the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago.

Don Ness serves as the executive director of the Ordean Foundation since January 2017. The Ordean Foundation was founded in 1933 by Albert Ordean — a prominent Duluth banker also active in the wholesale grocery business — and his wife, Louise. The foundation’s mission is to address issues of poverty, and has awarded more than $68 million in grants to local individuals and organizations over the years. Don served as mayor of Duluth from 2008 to 2016. After leaving office, he took a job as executive director of workforce development at Lake Superior College. He earlier served on the Duluth City Council for eight years, worked as a campaign manager for Congressman Jim Oberstar and was employed by the A.H. Zeppa Family Foundation in Duluth.